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The New Zealand Journal, Saturday, November 07 (1840)

263
Australind.—New discoveries in Western Australia, and anticipated arrangements respecting the resumption of unsettled lands, have made some changes in the intentions of the Western Australian Company. Captain Grey, who has recently been appointed Governor of South Australia, has made some important discoveries in the northern portion of Western Australia. North of Swan River he has discovered what a friend calls a real river and a real harbour (real in comparison with all the other Australian rivers), and the Company will change the site of Australind to the locality of the new discoveries.
Another reason for the change is, that the lands which the Company had fixed upon, have been resumed by the local government, and as there is a possibility that the lands may be regranted before the Company could take possession, they have preferred availing themselves of a very liberal offer by the Government, and have determined to locate themselves north of Swan River.
The following account of the circumstances which induced the change is from the Colonial Gazette:—"We have before expressed an opinion, that if the colony of Western Australia can be brought into a state of prosperity, it will be by means of the combined operation of certain new regulations for the disposal of Crown lands and the proceedings of a Company which has been formed for the purpose of planting settlements there. The Company had determined to begin by making a settlement at Port Leschenault, on land which they had acquired a right to select by purchase from the original grantees. It turned out, however, the other day, after they had made every preparation for the departure of their first expedition of colonists, that the private rights of selection which they had obtained near Port Leschenault have been "resumed" by the Government in the colony, in ignorance of the fact that those rights had been fully acknowledged by the Government at home. As the Local Government might have disposed of all the best lands so resumed before it became aware of its error in resuming them, there was a risk that the settlers on arriving might find the land occupied by others which they had expected to be ready for their own use. This risk the Company very properly resolved to avoid at any rate. At the very moment, too, when they heard of the resumption of these lands, they were led to doubt whether the district of Port Leschenault was as fertile as it had been represented to them. It seemed probable that they would be under the necessity of abandoning their enterprise altogether for the present. And this indeed must have happened but for the prompt and efficient aid which has been afforded to them by Lord John Russell. On being informed of the urgency of the case, Lord John Russell, without an hour's delay, resolved that the resumption of the lands near Port Leschenault should stand, and that the Company should be allowed to exercise their undoubted rights of selection in such other part of the colony as they might consider most eligible for their purposes. They have chosen a territory which was discovered by Captain Grey, the new Governor of South Australia, about midway between the river Arrow smith and Ganthaume Bay, which has hitherto been strictly reserved by the Local Government, notwithstanding the desire of the colonists to obtain land there. We have taken pains to ascertain the capabilities of this district, and have no hesitation in pronouncing it to be the finest in the colony. Besides the advantages of a much better harbour than either Port Leschenault or Swan River, and of a greater extent of higher, better watered, and more fertile land than near any other part of the coast of Western Australia, It possesses the peculiar recommendation of being distant enough from the settled portions of the colony to allow of the new Government regulations and the system of the Company to come into combined operation, without any impediment arising from the cheapness of private land in the neighbourhood. The certainty of this impediment at Port Leschenault was always to our mind an objection to the proposed experiment of the South Australian and New Zealand system of dear land and emigration at that spot. That system may now be tried in Western Australia with every prospect of success. Lord John Russell has therefore rendered, in our opinion, equal service to the Company, the settlers, and the colony, "Bis dat qui cito dat" was especially applicable to this case. The promptitude with which he set about drawing good out of evil, the most remarkable feature of the case."

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